Thursday, August 2, 2007

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) have come together to propose an immigration enforcement bill. Among the components of the legislation:

· Requires hiring of 14,000 new Border Patrol Agents to secure the borders.

· Mandates construction of 700 miles of fence, 300 miles of vehicle barriers, 105 ground-based radars, and four unmanned aerial vehicles. Requires 45,000 detention beds.

· Contains a “Catch and Return” provision requiring DHS to detain illegal border crossers.

· Requires implementing an entry/exit system at all U.S. ports of entry.

· Requires mandatory detention of criminal aliens until removal.

· Makes illegal presence in the U.S. a misdemeanor offense.

· Makes gang members inadmissible and deportable.

· Mandates an electronic employment verification system to end hiring of unlawful aliens.

McCain asserts that this "bill highlights the steps that need to be taken to ensure the integrity of our national security and immigration system, and would provide an essential step toward achieving comprehensive reform in the future.”

The LA Times has more. One of the provisions:
The new bill does not categorize illegal immigrants as felons, as that House bill did, but it does make fraudulent use of a Social Security number a felony. Advocates fear that the estimated 6 million to 7 million illegal immigrants in the workforce would be barred from any future legalization program.
Kyl doesn't sound too optimistic about the bill's fate:
Kyl said he does not expect the bill to pass in its current form, but anticipates that lawmakers will use it as a reference, pulling individual sections to introduce as amendments to other bills.